Bundesliga side RB Leipzig would not have sold Naby Keita to Liverpool in the summer if not for him having a release clause, claims the club’s chief Oliver Mintzlaff.
Keita completed his £48m+ move to Anfield during the summer transfer window, but won’t join up with the Reds until the end of the season. The German side exhausted all options in trying to keep the star to stay, but Liverpool activating his release clause left them with no choice but to sell, something Mintzlaff admits he did not expect Liverpool to do.
“We would have never given Naby Keita away if it had not been for the release clause,” said Mintzlaff to German media outlet Kicker.
“When we agreed on [the clause], we did not presume that only after a few months there’d be a club willing to pay significantly more.”
Keita still has to spend the rest of the season in Germany before he can join up with Jurgen Klopp’s side, and has had a rather mixed season with plenty of highs and lows. But the youngster said last month in an interview that his mindset has not been affected by his move to Liverpool.
“For the rest of my time at Leipzig, my commitment will remain as strong as it ever was,” Keita told Sport Bild in September.
“Since I’ve worn the Leipzig shirt I’ve always given my all – and that will remain the case until the final whistle on my final appearance for the club.”
“My future has been sorted now and I can fully concentrate on helping us achieve our objectives this season.”